Wanted: wildlife spotters
ALL you need is a keen eye, a little bit of time and a love of animals.
Coffs Coast residents are being asked to take part in a community wildlife survey which will help scientists map the locations of native wildlife and pests throughout the region.
One of the focus species for the survey will be the koala, as Coffs Harbour is home to one of only 12 significant populations recognised in NSW.
“We’re asking the community to do their bit to help conserve and manage our unique native wildlife,” said Nigel Cotsell, Coffs Harbour City Council’s senior biodiversity officer.
“Conservation scientists require information on wildlife habitats that is as accurate and up-to-date as possible.
“One of the best ways to get this important information is by using the eyes and ears of the public.”
The results from the community wildlife survey will be used to build on information from a similar review in 2006 and will help conservation scientists in identifying any changes in occupied habitats for the target species.
In addition, the information collected will also help in putting recovery plans in place for threatened species’ populations and communities, as well as helping cut the negative impacts made by invasive pest species.
The survey can be completed online. Participants will answer questions and record any current or previous sightings for selected native and feral animal species on specially designed maps.
These species include rare or threatened birds such as the bush stone curlew, barking owl and emu, as well as mammals such as the koala and grey-headed flying fox.
More commonly occurring animals such as grey kangaroos are also included, as are pest species such as feral cats and cane toads.
These species have been selected because they are of interest to the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, are easily recognised and can potentially occur throughout NSW.
“Good community participation is essential for the project to succeed. Anyone interested in taking part in the survey can access it via council’s website at www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/consultation,” Mr Cotsell said.